When watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the film that focuses in on American TV personality Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), we were struck by director Marielle Heller’s somewhat unique, and authentic portrayal of masculinity. Just before Christmas we had the pleasure of sitting down with the talented filmmaker, as she describes her vision and ambitions for this wonderful drama.

She talks about the difference between this and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, while commenting on Roger’s outlook on life, and what he’d make of today’s political landscape, as she discusses the lack of nuance in a contemporary world. Heller also speaks about the ensemble cast, which also includes Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper, and why she gets frustrated when people refer to the film as a biopic. Finally she tells us what it’s like working with Tom Hanks, and what she may be working on next…

Watch the full interview below:


Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He approaches the interview with skepticism, as he finds it hard to believe that anyone can have such a good nature. But Roger’s empathy, kindness and decency soon chips away at Vogel’s jaded outlook on life, forcing the reporter to reconcile with his own painful past.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is released in cinemas on January 31st